Even with the NBN nearly rolled out, average broadband speed in Australia is nothing to crow about compared to many other countries.
Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index for December 2019 was released a couple of weeks ago and shows average global download speed was 73.58 Mbps and average upload speed 40.39 Mbps.
Performance of Australia fixed broadband connections for the month was noted as being 41.78 Mbps download and 18.77Mbps upload on average. This result placed Australia at no. 68 out of 177 countries, down 3 spots on the month before. In fact, according to Ookla’s figures the average download speed dropped in December from 42.63Mbps in November – which is rather odd. December’s was the lowest ranking for Australia in at least a year.
Some of the many countries that beat Australia for average download speed included New Zealand (by a huge margin), Estonia and Ukraine.
With regard to mobile broadband, things weren’t quite so shabby; with Australia ranking at no. 6 – but that was down one spot.
So, what’s happening with fixed broadband? While there has been a big shift to “50Mbps” plans, it would appear Australians are happy at that level – either that or just unhappy paying more or seeing no value for the next tier up.
The Problem With Plan Mbps Speeds
Back in November, we reported on figures provided by the ACCC indicating that in September, 34.3% of Australians on the NBN were on 12Mbps or 25Mbps tiers, 57.1 per cent were on 50Mbps plans, while 100Mbps accounted for 8.5 per cent.
However, the “50Mbps” NBN plans often don’t reach that speed during peak periods. They are given different names now due to this fact, and their typical evening speeds tend to range from 40 – 44Mbps. It’s the same sort of situation with what were previously widely called “100Mps” NBN plans, which have a typical evening speed of anywhere between 79Mbps and 90Mbps, depending on the service provider.
How long Australians will be satisfied or at least willing to tolerate online life in the (comparative) slow lane remains to be seen. But there’s a bit of disillusionment that the tens of billions that were spent on what was meant to be a world class network predominantly based on Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) has turned out to be a mish-mash of technologies including the much-maligned Fibre-To-The-Node (FTTN).
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